For many of us, consisntelty coming up with healthy dinner ideas is one of the great struggles of life. If we haven’t made time to plan the meal at the very start of the day, by the end of it, we’re often tired, hungry, and not in the mood to figure out what to do. This often leads to choices we regret later and promise ourselves we’ll do better, only to face the same struggles again.
Let’s end the cycle. The best way to make a change toward healthy food is to come up with many ideas, have them readily available, and easy to make. It helps if they’re also delicious.
What Counts As Healthy Food ?
Before we break into some healthy dinner ideas, it’s important to consider what the parameters are. This will be different for everyone and is a personal judgment call. One person may notice that carbs drag them down while another may prefer a carb heavy diet. Some of us swear by different diet plans and lifestyle choices.
For the sake of this article, healthy dinners will be made with real food. They will include vegetables and cover as many food groups as possible. The ideas will also include some variations, so you can make them to better fit your own diet preferences.
4 Healthy Dinner Ideas
1. Salmon, Asparagus, and Garlic in a Foil Packet
Meals where you can put together real ingredients, put them away to cook, and come out with beautiful healthy food you never had to touch are some of the most satisfying dinners to make. While not everyone has a slow cooker, you can bake foil packets to a similar, satisfying result.
For this meal idea, you can put an individual salmon fillet in a small aluminum foil packet with some trimmed asparagus, lemon juice, a slice of butter, a clove of garlic, salt, and pepper. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for ten minutes.
2. Fresh Stuffed Tomatoes
You’ve probably had stuffed peppers. While stuffed peppers are a great healthy dinner idea, baking them can be a lot of work. This puts a lot of people off from making them regularly. For a quick, fun idea try stuffing fresh tomatoes with taco or burger ingredients.
Flip your tomatoes upside down so the stem is on the bottom. Cut about two-thirds of the way down the tomato. Rotato the tomato and create six wedges.
Now, cook some onions in a pan. Add ground beef and taco seasoning or burger seasoning, depending on your preference. You can also do this with ground turkey, if that works better for your diet.
Add any vegetables you may like to this. Some fun ideas include diced peppers, diced zucchini, and/or diced or shredded carrots.
When your filling is ready, fill the tomatoes. It’s normal for this to overflow and look messy. You’ll be eating these with a fork.
Add cheese or sour cream to your preference, and you’re ready to eat!
3. Zucchini Lasagna
Lasagna has always had a rich flavor profile with tomato sauce and a mix of vegetables and meats, depending on your own tastes. The least healthy food in any lasagna is often the noodles, which are carb heavy and don’t offer a lot of nutrition.
For a lighter lasagna with even more vegetables, try a no noodle zucchini lasagna! Slice your zucchini in long, even slices. Layer in your lasagna filling with the zucchini slices, similarly to how you would use noodles in a traditional lasagna.
4. Brunch For Dinner With a Healthy Hash
You can make hash any number of ways to suit any number of diets. While many of us think of hash as having only a few ingredients, this can be a delicious meal to make in one pan full of healthy food options.
In a skillet, heat some olive oil or coconut oil with minced garlic. Add diced sweet potatoes and cook these until they are mostly done. Then, add a fun mix of vitamin rich vegetables! Ideas include kale, spinach, diced carrots, broccoli, and peppers.
Optionally, you can add eggs. To do this, temporarily remove your sweet potatoes and vegetables from the pan, cook three or four eggs in the skillet, and then place your sweet potatoes and vegetables back in the skillet to combine.